“Forget about your competitors, just focus on your customers” – Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group
Chat support is a live web service that allows businesses to communicate or chat in real-time with website visitors and answer their queries. Live support software solutions are commonly used to provide immediate customer support and information to customers. It has a great effect on conversion rates.
Kayako, a live chat software provider, conducted a survey on 400 consumers and 100 businesses, and it states that 95% of customers value thorough, high-qualified support more than speed and 52% of consumers are more likely to repurchase from a company offering live chat support.
Addressing the Gap
It further indicates the gap between consumer preference and business (company) perspective. Consumers(41%) prefer live chat support over a telephone, email or social media.
But businesses (42%) think that consumers prefer the phone over live chat software. There’s a huge gap between reality and assumptions.
But thanks to the change – businesses (79%) are increasingly realizing the positive effect of live chat on sales, revenue and customer loyalty.
It’s been studied and observed that live chat improves sales, revenue and customer loyalty. Consumers share their live chat experiences with their friends or colleagues, so when done right, it contributes to positive word-of-mouth.
Did you know that live chat impacts conversion?
Sirius decisions say that 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sales. Consumers today look more for educational material, reviews or even chat, before making a purchase.
They need some sort of communication for their queries and a sense of reassurance to make a purchase, and live chat provides exactly the same – real human interaction during an online purchase.
Live chat allows agents to mitigate any kind of risks involved in the buying journey and reassures the consumers to make a smooth purchase.
Here’s a rundown of 10 customer chat tips to nurture your business and increase revenue.
10 Customer Chat Tips to Grow Your Business
1. Include Canned messages
As your business grows, so does your customers. To provide live support to this increased volume of customers is a challenge when done manually – every time.
If you have a set of automated canned messages readily available, your agents can respond quickly and at the same time empathize with the customers.
Canned messages eliminate the time involved in typing standard messages and allow you to insert pre-formatted responses.
Few software solutions, like Bold software, create canned messages to automate parts of the conversation.
While it’s good to use canned messages, you don’t want to use too many of them and create an impression on customers that they are talking to a bot rather than a human. Keep that human touch alive.
2. Initiate Chat
Most of the times, website visitors turn to different sections of the site in search of an answer but may not open chat for support.
They could even be unwilling to engage in chat. But since you are the host, initiate the chat with just a simple question, “Hello, How may I help you today?”. Even if they hesitate awhile, they would certainly come back and have a quick chat with you.
However, don’t be too quick in raising the offer to chat because you don’t want to interrupt customers but allow them to visit your website.
Also, don’t be too late to offer before they are out of your website. Identify a list of target pages, like pricing page, case studies etc and raise the chat offer after a minute or two, based on the test results for your industry.
3. CRM Integration
In the business, sales, marketing, and customer support teams should be in sync to provide uniform customer service. A miss in this link may lead to miscommunication, leaving a bad mark on the brand altogether.
Chat supporters should be given access to customer purchase history. This serves as a reference to the conversation and they can also update the records after the chat session, for future reference.
Few CRM software solutions, like Agile CRM, allow you to integrate live chat. So, you access all of the customer’s interactions, like purchase history, email communications, live chat etc on a single platform. Train your team on CRM, so that they don’t delete data but only update information.
4. Refer Chat History
Most of the customers come back to you because of unresolved issues. The number 1 potentially damaging problem in customer service industry is repetition – customers repeating themselves to various agents every time they chat.
You might often hear responses, like, ‘But I already gave you my account number’, ‘I have told my issue to you guys like dozen times’, ‘Don’t you have a proper system in place?’.
To avoid such unfriendly scenarios, chat agents may need access to previous chats of customers. This allows an agent to speed up the solution or at least address the issue before the customer does.
This gives a sense of relief to customers and tells them that you are ‘listening’. It’s necessary to provide chat agents with previous chat transcripts.
5. Customer Behavior Analysis
Wouldn’t it be convenient to attend a chat when you know the reason behind it? If you know why a particular customer is approaching you, you can be well prepared for the chat and have control of the conversation.
When chat agents are given access to each visitor’s online behavior, like what pages did he visit, is he a new visitor, time spent on each page, on what page did he leave, etc, they can prepare well for the call. This throws a preview on customer and allows agents to better handle the chat conversation.
You can even route the chat session to qualified agents for a particular segment, could be product or service based on the visited pages. CRM software allows you to access web analytics of each customer even before you respond a chat request.
However, agents should not reveal to customers that their actions are being monitored. No one likes spying.
6. Strategic Placing of Buttons
You may include live chat buttons on specific pages based on the frequently asked questions, like, product pages or pricing page.
Based on customer support analytics, you understand people ask more questions about a product, so you make sure you place a live chat on that page.
Where you place the button is also important. Typically you can put at the upper-right corner of each page because of higher visibility.
You can sometimes link the live chat with a pop-up form, indicating your visitors that you will be hanging down at the left bottom, just in case they need you. Sit with your web designer and be more creative.
7. Update Chat Conversation
Most often, you say one thing and your customers may take it in a different way. For instance, you might say that your company charges $10/user/month for a license, but they might only consider $10/user assuming it to be a perpetual license.
Or, you might mean $10/user/month for your starter edition but the customer might mistakenly link it to an enterprise edition. This can cause confusion and miscommunication.
Updating chat conversations in CRM eliminates such mishaps by recording the communication. It also evaluates the performance of your team and gives them feedback on necessary changes.
Sometimes, you can conduct an automatic survey (post-chat surveys) after each online chat session and take feedback or suggestions from your customers, which can help you improve your performance.
8. Performance Gauging
Rating the performance of your agents is not only necessary for evaluation purpose but also helps in sharing best practices across the team.
You can include key performance indicators of your agents to your live chat software. At the same time, you can also analyze the score after each post-chat survey of every agent and give feedback.
You can use different key performance indicators, such as a number of visitors on your website during the chat session, the time taken to resolve the issue, the queue of the chat agent, etc and link them to the software to understand trends.
You can take immediate decisions, like adjust your staffing, divert the chat requests, which could affect the business. Training and motivating your team can build their confidence and perform better.
9. Build FAQ or Knowledge Base
It is studied that a business with 5,000 visitors might have 448 live chats per month and a business of 50,000 visitors might have 1000 live chats per month. By this, you can understand the number of queries a live chat team handles.
These questions serve as a good source of information in making better decisions for your business. You can use chat transcripts to build frequently-asked-questions database or knowledge base, and link them to the database with a good set of keywords.
Your team can access this database while handling future chats. Documented resolved issues with keywords helps to handle chats more quickly and easily.
10. Provide 24X7 Support
You might have set up your business or provide services in different continents, even if you are not at the moment, you definitely want to expand your geography.
One risk in supporting live chat across the globe is that you may not provide 24X7 support because of the difference in time zones. If you do that, you might be missing a lot of business.
Customers need 24X7 live support. So, you can either hire resources to work different shifts or outsource it to teams across the globe. This will keep your ‘live chat’ button up and run all round the clock.
What other tips did we miss on? Comment them below.